Texas – Max Verstappen Red Bull’s Red Bull claimed his 15th victory of the season, and the 50th of his Formula 1 career, at the United States Grand Prix on Sunday when he started from sixth place, and then held off Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton in the last laps at the Circuit of The Americas.
Verstappen had to work harder than usual in a season of near total dominance by the three-time world champion. But the power of his Red Bull and the right pit stop strategies saw the Dutch driver cruise to the finish line 2.2 seconds ahead of Hamilton, even as Mercedes was eating up a lot of time behind him in the final laps.
“I think throughout the race I had problems with the brakes. That made the race more complicated. It was very close at the end”Verstappen said. “It’s amazing to win my 50th grand prix here. I am very proud. Of course we will go for more.”
His 15th win of 2023 equaled Verstappen’s season record set last year. The Dutchman also took his third consecutive victory in Austin.
After splitting honors in the first four races with his teammate, the Mexican Sergio “Checo” Perez, Verstappen won 13 of the last 14 in a year where on his own account he would also have Red Bull as the constructors’ leader.
All the winners at Circuit of the Americas started from the front row until Verstappen’s comeback on Sunday. This season he has won three times starting from sixth place or lower.
However, this one made him sweat in the Texas heat. With Hamilton in the rearview mirror and his garage updating their lap times, Verstappen scolded them to “stop talking” as he struggled with the brakes in the corners.
Hamilton is chasing Perez for second place in the overall driver standings, and was able to take another podium with Mercedes bringing what they have called their most recent improvement of the season in Austin.
The seven-time Formula 1 champion has not won since December 2021 in Saudi Arabia. Four races remain to complete this season, and next weekend their next appointment will be in Mexico.